How to Save Your iPhone from Water Damage

If you accidentally dropped your iPhone in the sink or the toilet, there’s no huge need to panic right away. Here’s how to recover your iPhone and save it from water damage.

You may already know this, but water and electronics don’t mix and bad things can happen if they do eventually touch noses, so it’s always a good idea to keep your gadgets away from you while going for a swim or taking a shower. The good news is that more and more smartphones are becoming waterproof and water resistant, especially since both water and smartphones are big parts of our lives, so there’s no easy way to avoid the mixture altogether.

However, the iPhone isn’t waterproof by any means, and we’re not sure when Apple plans to add that to the feature list, but at this point, a quick dump in the toilet can be catastrophic. However, not every contact with water that your iPhone comes across has to be deadly, and there are ways to save your iPhone if this happens.

This is why many users try their hardest to recover their iPhones from water damage by using all sorts of tricks to dry their devices off as quickly as possible to prevent any further damage. However, don’t bother trying to preserve the resell value, as the water sensors on the inside of the iPhone will take care of that for you (as in, the resell value will go down the second your iPhone gets dunked).

iPhone water damage

Here are some tips and tricks on how to recover your iPhone from water damage and get it working so that you can keep using it.

Immediate Steps to Take

There are a handful of important steps to take between the time that you take your iPhone out of the water and when you leave it out to dry. Here’s what you need to do after you pull it out of water:

  • Shut It Down: Immediately shut down your iPhone after you take it out of the water (that is, if it’s still working). This prevents the possibility of the device short circuiting and getting permanently damaged.
  • Open the Flood Gates: Anything that can be removed, remove it. This includes any case and even the SIM card tray. Doing this allows any water on the inside to escape wherever it can, which can expedite the drying process.
  • Empty It Out: Get out as much water as possible by doing whatever you can. Shake your iPhone, blow on it, whatever you have to do. You may look like an idiot, but it’ll be worth it.

Touch-ID

Don’t Use Rice

You’ve probably been told many times that putting your iPhone in uncooked rice will absorb the moisture from your iPhone and help it dry quicker than just air drying, but regular ‘ole air-drying actually works much better.

But where did the rice trick myth come from in the first place? A cellphone repairman says that he mostly tells customers put their devices in rice “so that they aren’t trying to charge it to get it to come back on. Attempting to charge your phone because it won’t turn on after dropping it in water is a sure way to short the board and make sure it won’t work again.”

He also says that a food dehydrator is actually the best tool, as it arguably does the best job at removing moisture from your iPhone, simply because that’s what a food dehydrator does in the first place.

iPhone Flashlight - 4

However, simply leaving your iPhone out to dry is the next best option, and a fan can also aid the process along and keep air circulating. It’s recommended that you keep your iPhone in a dry place that isn’t humid, and leaving the device sit in a warm area will allow the heat to help evaporate the water. Just be careful, though, since the iPhone has a limit of 113 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Apple.

If you’re still set on dunking your iPhone in rice, Gazelle recommends using silica gel, cat litter, couscous, instant oatmeal, classic oatmeal, or instant rice (as opposed to regular rice) instead. These products do a much better job than regular rice, but they still aren’t the best options when it comes to drying speed, as a wet sponge can actually dry faster than an iPhone in rice or kitty litter.

Get It Working Again

It’s recommended that you don’t touch your iPhone for at least 24 hours, but even then we’d recommend leaving it for a couple of days to let it fully dry before trying to boot it back up again.

iOS 7.1.2 on iPhone 5s

Once your iPhone completely dries, try turning it on. If it turns on and works just like before, then you’ve successfully resuscitated back to life.However, if it doesn’t turn on, there are a couple things you can try.

Charging it for a few hours could give it a kick-start that could allow it to finally turn on, but it’s possible that the battery could be completely toast. This is where you could swap out the battery for a new one, which Apple will gladly do at the Apple Store.

If your iPhone still doesn’t turn on even after replacing the battery, you may still be able to sync it to your computer, allowing you to recover any important data. Otherwise, it’s time to say goodbye.

28 Comments

  1. David

    07/21/2014 at 10:58 am

    Since I started freelancing over this site, with a little effort I easily bring in around $65 to $95 per/h! This is the easiest and most financially rewarding job I’ve ever had. I started 7 months ago, and now my monthly income is around $15k.
    I use this source… Fox92.c*om

    Reply

    • Fix a Wet iPhone

      09/22/2015 at 5:37 am

      If your iPhone can’t be saved, you can find a way to recover your iPhone data.

      Reply

  2. beth

    07/22/2014 at 10:20 am

    Just a week ago i did drop my I4 in the toliet. Have to tell you it is working like a champ. let it dry and presto. I have had it for 2 1/2 years can’t wait for the 6

    Reply

    • AKDA

      07/23/2014 at 10:32 am

      How long did it take to dry out before you turned it back on?

      Reply

      • Agnes

        11/11/2015 at 3:00 pm

        Heres a cheap and sure proof solution that worked for me . Check it out!

        Reply

  3. lauren

    08/03/2014 at 6:00 pm

    I was dumb enough to leave the phone on and I did put it in a charger in hopes that it would turn on. It is sitting in rice now, is there any hopes that it will come back?

    Reply

    • Karis

      10/25/2015 at 8:43 pm

      My phone is in the same situation as yours, just that my phone can turn on but cannot charge at all. I dont know what to do. Any idea that can help my phone?

      Reply

    • Needheart

      12/23/2015 at 6:19 pm

      Hey, still there? Is your phone fine?

      Reply

    • Sweerry

      11/19/2016 at 4:33 pm

      I did the same thing too, now it won’t charge and is sitting in rice.
      😢😭

      Reply

  4. lamya

    06/07/2015 at 3:10 pm

    my iphones screen is black and when i recieve a message i feel the shaking, i put it in charge and gets full its just the screen is black , is there any hopes that it will turn on ?? please answer me :(

    Reply

  5. Diamonique

    06/09/2015 at 10:09 am

    I did the rice method before I came to this sight. I have let it dry for 3 days now. When it first fell in the water, I immediately put it in rice but I always tried cutting it on a few times. The second day, I even put it on the charger. Nothing happened. Today I took my sim card out after reading this and some water came out. Also, the water indicator thing never turned red, it’s still sliver, so will my phone be ok?

    Reply

  6. Marissa Oliva apa

    07/02/2015 at 2:00 am

    Pls I hav i5 dat was dropped in toilet sink. I try to dried it den took it to da cellphone shot after 2 days they said doesn’t hav any chances ,,, broken it mean,, but I still hav the i5 wat can I do to hav it again

    Reply

  7. renee

    07/12/2015 at 5:24 pm

    my iphone 5 was dropped in a bath for 1 second. I retrieved it and immediately powered off. But of course couldn’t resist trying it after 2 mins…and just saw stripes. My 7 year old raced it to the hairdryer and blasted for 5 secs. So far, I’ve done all the wrong things. After madly searching online for what to do, I took the sim card out, turned it upside down and shook it and then placed it in rice for 2 days. Bingo – it works….bit fuzzy at times, but I think its back from the dead. So, if you do all the wrong things (like me) don’t despair – there is hope.

    Reply

    • Debbie

      11/27/2015 at 5:13 am

      I have done exactly the same thing Renee!! It wouldn’t switch off as couldn’t swipe but I shook it as much as poss to get any excess water out but couldn’t get it in rice for a few hours as I was out at the time. Still, it’s been in rice 3 days and still I only got a line on the screen so thought I’d plug it into the computer and try and save as much data and my pics as I could. When I unplugged it from the computer, hey presto – everything came back to life and apart from a water stain visible on the screen, all seems to be working as normal. I have now left it on the shelf above the radiator and hope it will dry out completely now. SO, all is not lost!

      Reply

    • Chelsea

      01/29/2016 at 8:44 am

      I dropped mine in the toilet at school and I immediately got it out but It turned off whilst in the loo and I put it in rice this was at the end of lunch I o Bly put it in rice I didn’t take it apart attal and it is in the bag in the airing cupboard and will that work please say it does

      Reply

  8. can

    09/04/2015 at 11:15 pm

    I dropped my iphone6 in the toilet yesterday, don’t ask how. I panicked and I took out the sim card and then tried to charge it for a few times. The phone first went all weird than black and then the flashlight started coming on and off. Now I’ve placed it in rice and don’t know what to do, please someone help me!

    Reply

  9. HELP

    10/29/2015 at 11:12 am

    My mum dropped here iphone 4 in a bag of water and we didnt realise it was wet until we got home,right now it is sitting in a bowl of rice and there is no response.The whole family is really angry and mums iphone 4 is the only phone in the family left!!!HELP US!!!

    Reply

  10. amy goodchild

    11/08/2015 at 8:27 am

    i dropped my iPhone 5c down the loo I put it in some rice and left in there its not working

    Reply

  11. Agnes

    11/11/2015 at 3:01 pm

    This method worked best for me and saved my phone without breaking the bank! check the visuals below :)

    Reply

  12. Deborah Fisher

    02/17/2016 at 1:42 pm

    My phone would not turn off, so I had to wait a day for it to die. Is there any hope for it.

    Reply

  13. Emily

    02/20/2016 at 2:20 pm

    I put my phone in rice this morning after dropping it in the toilet, it eventually managed to turn it off. But it wont turn on again now or charge. I dont know what to do

    Reply

  14. Becky

    04/10/2016 at 1:29 am

    My i6 fell in da toilet it’s all dry now charging and turning on but the touch screen is not working . Can it still be saved

    Reply

  15. Hu hu

    05/27/2016 at 2:35 pm

    Hi I have been leaving my phone out in the open for almost a month. It’s working, but it’s not charging. Whenever I try turning it on, the symbol of the red battery comes up and the charger icon flashing. I have an iPhone 4 and I can’t tell my parents! Can you please help?? I’m switching, so do I need my phone alive if I am switching to another phone???

    Reply

  16. Bella

    06/08/2016 at 10:12 am

    Can someone help me on sunday i dropped my iphone5c in a sink that was filled with water, i grabbed it the put it in a bag of rice then monday took the sim card out so it could take some water out tuesday the camera’s cleared up so there was nomore water i could see the camera’s perfectly so now its wednesday and its still not working i kept putting in back in the rice even after trying to charge it a few times but the screen is still off and the phone still isn’t turning on i just tried plugging it into my MacBook Pro computer but it still isn’t turning on can someone please help me because nobody’s willing to buy me a new phone :(

    Reply

  17. Ricky

    06/29/2016 at 4:22 am

    My 5s got into water, let it dry for a week in rice. It wont turn on, just heat up on connecting the battery. Any help!

    Reply

  18. Elle marie coleman

    07/28/2016 at 10:40 pm

    I was walking to school and my iPhone 4 was in my pocket it started to rain I didn’t think anything of it and when I got to school I remember it was in my pocket and I took it out there was a apple sign but it had lines all over the screen so I turned it off dryer it and rapped it in toilet paper and and put it in a bag till I got home now it is in rice I don’t know Wht to do

    Reply

    • Mellissa

      10/01/2016 at 12:29 pm

      did it work ? My phone did the same thing and idk what to do

      Reply

  19. octavia shade

    04/05/2017 at 4:08 pm

    so I dropped my iphone 7 in the toilet and it worked for a second and shut off on its on within 2 minutes after it dropped in the toilet I took my sim card out and I tried to get all the water out as possible, Should I just wait a few hours and see if my phone will come back on?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *